The defense of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, this morning asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss the sexual abuse lawsuit facing the son of Queen Elizabeth II of England. Andrew Brettler, the lawyer for the member of the royal family, has argued that a legal agreement signed in November 2009 and made public this Monday between the victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, shields his client from any action legal future for the scandal of the plot of sex with minors that surrounded the tycoon and many of his friends. The togado, however, was skeptical of the defense’s reasoning, although he has not set a date for the trial during the hearing held remotely in New York.
Much of the audience revolved around the agreement that Giuffre reached with Epstein 12 years ago, for which he received $ 500,000 to avoid going to trial. In 2009, the victim said she had been seduced into the world of sexual abuse of the New York millionaire when she was a minor. In August 2021, Giuffre detailed these episodes in a new lawsuit, which the prince of England vehemently denies. The first, according to last year’s judicial text, occurred when she was 17 years old in the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, considered Epstein’s Madame and who has recently been convicted of sex trafficking in a trial. On another occasion, the abuse took place at Epstein’s mansion in New York. The third time, on a private Epstein island in the Virgin Islands.
The 2009 settlement, filed in a Florida court, specifies that Giuffre agrees to “release, acquit, satisfy and forever excuse” Epstein and “any other person or entity that could potentially be included as a defendant.” Andrew Brettler, the Duke of York’s legal representative, believes that this provision protects his client from claims made by the alleged victim. “A potential defendant is someone who could have been named in that lawsuit, but was not,” the attorney said before Judge Kaplan. “There is no doubt that Prince Andrew could have been sued in the 2009 lawsuit of the State of Florida,” added Brettler in his attempt to get the US justice to dismiss the case.
Judge Kaplan said the “real question” is what Giuffre and Epstein were looking for after getting the deal. “I think there are more than two reasonable interpretations,” said the robed minutes before closing the hearing, in which he promised both parties a ruling that would come “soon.”
David Boies, a lawyer for Giuffre (the married name), said this morning that the duke must face the accusations in a legal process where they seek reparation for the damage and compensation, the amount of which has not been specified. In his arguments, he said that Prince Andrew could be exempt, in relation to the 2009 case, only from the charge of the crime of transporting a minor with the intention of sexually abusing her. “He was the one who the victims of trafficking were taking,” said Boies, who considers his client’s agreement with Epstein irrelevant in this new case.
The victim, who is 38 years old today, is married and resides in Australia, is one of 30 women who raised their voices to denounce the crimes of trafficking in minors of Epstein, who committed suicide at age 66 in his cell in 2019 to waiting for a judicial process for crimes of sex with minors.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.